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Characters portrayed by Chris Pratt, left, Bryce Dallas Howard and Isabella Sermon hide from the Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Universal Pictures

  • Title: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Directed by: J.A. Bayona
  • Written by: Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum
  • Classification: PG; 128 minutes

rating

2 out of 4 stars

It feels a bit silly, doesn’t it? Writing a review of the fifth Jurassic Park film while the Western world is on fire?

Yes, movies – especially big and expensive and immeasurably stupid blockbusters like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – are designed as distractions. And that’s fine. There is no reason to pretend that director J.A. Bayona is offering meaningful social commentary here, or harnessing the transformative power of the cinematic medium. Like almost every other major studio film this summer, Fallen Kingdom plays dumb, and happily.

So, inspired by Bayona and company’s ultimately meaningless work, this review is also going to act as a forgettable distraction from society’s eroding humanity. Or, at least, it is going to attempt such a feat, while ripping off a literary device of the late and great Globe film critic, Jay Scott.

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Presenting an eight-part quiz-review on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

1. The indominus rex is:

a) a genetically engineered dinosaur that debuted in Jurassic World, and whose DNA acts as the MacGuffin of Fallen Kingdom

b) a line of toys that Universal Pictures would very much like your child to possess

c) a needlessly pumped-up reboot of the tyrannosaurus rex, whose existence acts as a tidy metaphor for the Jurassic Park franchise

d) definitely not Imodium, as this version offers little relief for cramps and bloating

2. Colin Trevorrow is:

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a) half the screenwriting duo behind Fallen Kingdom, along with Derek Connolly

b) the director of this movie’s immediate predecessor, the slightly worse Jurassic World

c) the director of The Book of Henry, whose plot centres around how charming it is that a deceased child is offering his mother posthumous instructions on how to carry out an assassination

d) the one-time director of Star Wars Episode IX, before he and Lucasfilm “mutually [chose] to part ways” last fall – presumably after Lucasfilm executives saw The Book of Henry

3. Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona is:

a) best known for his intense 2012 tsunami drama, The Impossible

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b) lesser known for the mawkish 2016 mess A Monster Calls

c) now known for his slavish devotion to echoing Steven Spielberg shots from the first Jurassic Park

d) mysteriously known for his taste in screenplays, given that he saw what Trevorrow turned in for Jurassic World, yet still agreed to use his script for its sequel

4. Chris Pratt’s raptor-wrangling hero, introduced in Jurassic World and back for more adventure, is:

a) Owen Grady, a stunted man-child who could be mistaken for Parks and Recreation’s Andy Dwyer

b) Owen Grady, a smirking cad who could be mistaken for Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill

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c) Owen Grady, a generic doofus who could be mistaken for The Lego Movie’s Emmet Brickowski

d) Owen Grady, but admit it: Even though he was the lead of a US$1.67-billion-grossing movie, you had no idea Owen Grady was the character’s name until this very moment

5. Bryce Dallas Howard’s heroine, introduced in Jurassic World and back for more adventure, is:

a) Claire Dearing, a take-charge businesswoman who no longer runs around everywhere in high heels after that decision was so roundly and rightly mocked in Jurassic World

b) Claire Dearing, a love interest for Owen who is so much better than he is in every possible respect

c) Claire Dearing, a dinosaur-lover who seems to have forgotten her intense desire to exploit the animals just one film ago

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d) Claire Dearing, a character that the script doesn’t much care for, despite Howard’s natural charisma

6. Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm character is:

a) a fan-favourite character of the franchise, back for more chaos-theory shenanigans

b) barely in the movie, but no one is blaming Goldblum for that decision

c) a reminder of at least two other, better Jurassic Park movies – and one very entertaining Thor movie

d) already starring in your dreams, because even three minutes of Dr. Malcolm is better than two hours of Owen What’s-his-name

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7. The worst thing about Fallen Kingdom is:

a) that approximately 45 minutes of the film’s run time is taken up by characters SCREAMING ALL THE TIME

b) the plot, which involves weaponizing dinosaurs for profit – exactly the same story of Jurassic World

c) the plot, which involves bringing dinosaurs from their island to our shores – exactly the same story of The Lost World: Jurassic Park

d) the plot, whose third act hinges on one dinosaur showing up to fight another dinosaur – exactly the same story of every single Jurassic Park film ever made

8. The best thing about Fallen Kingdom is:

a) the tiny joke found in a cable-news scroll early on, reading, “U.S. President questions existence of dinosaurs ‘in the first place’“

b) the fact that delightful character actors Ted Levine, B.D. Wong, and Toby Jones likely got compensated well for their small roles

c) one shot toward the end that completely upstages the upcoming Jason Statham vs. giant shark movie, The Meg

d) that it ends … eventually

ANSWERS: The answers to all of the above are all of the above. (With apologies to Jay Scott’s 1990 review of Arachnophobia.)

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